Goodnight Loon puts Minnesota spin on classic children's book

Categories: Books
Are you getting tired of reading Goodnight Moon to your kid every night before bed? Two creative types living in Minnesota and Wisconsin have re-imagined the beloved book into a homage to the North Woods region of the Midwest (and Canada). Their indiegogo campaign seeks to raise funds to print the publication while also benefiting a few great causes.
More »

See Reese Witherspoon transform into Cheryl Strayed as shooting begins on movie version of Wild

Categories: Books, Film and TV
image of Strayed courtesy the author
Strayed about 900 miles and two months into her hike at Crater Lake, Oregon, in August 1995. At right, Wild in hardcover.
Cheryl Strayed, our favorite local girl made good, has had a big week.

See Also:
- Slideshow: Cheryl Strayed: In the wild
- Cheryl Strayed on the rigors of the book tour trail, writing, and reconnecting with characters from "Wild"

More »

Twin Cities Book Festival takes over the Fairgrounds this weekend

Categories: Books, Festivals
Photo by Jennifer Simonson Photography
This weekend, the 13th annual Twin Cities Book Festival hits the State Fairgrounds. It's the largest literary event in the upper Midwest, and is your chance to mingle with authors and book lovers alike in a day-long extravaganza of readings, signings, socializing, and more. The family-friendly affair, presented by Rain Taxi, brings is expected to bring in about 7,000 people. 

The festival started in 2000. "We realized that all these other cities had book festivals, which was ironic because this was a book town," says Eric Lorberer, editor of Rain Taxi. Believing that the Twin Cities deserved its own festival, volunteers from local book publishers worked with Rain Taxi to get the first event started. It's been growing ever since.

More »

Neil Gaiman on Minnesota, Sandman, and why he can't do another signing tour

Categories: Books, Interview

Tony Nelson
Neil Gaiman before his Minneapolis signing in July. Check out more behind-the-scenes photos.
This year, writer Neil Gaiman has juggled more projects than you can count on two hands. These include releasing a children's book and an adult novel, writing his second Dr. Who episode, and gearing up for a prequel to The Sandman series. We caught up with the author on the Minneapolis stop of his last U.S. signing tour to chat about a little of everything, like what chilly Midwest winters have taught him and how he feels revisiting Sandman.

Here's more from our interview with Gaiman for our cover story: The dark night returns for Neil Gaiman.

See also:
Amanda Palmer on Neil Gaiman: He desperately loves to be surprised

More »

The most hilarious and thought-provoking parts of Chris Kluwe's new book

Categories: Books

If you're familiar with Chris Kluwe's opinionated, profanity-strewn internet pieces, you've already got a pretty good idea what his book is like. Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies is a glorious mishmash of essays, letters, articles, and thoughts collected by the outspoken punter. However, it's not all cockmonsters and sparkleponies here.

See also:
Game Changer: Chris Kluwe takes a stand [Cover Story]
Best Unlikely Activist - Chris Kluwe

More »

A nostalgic return for Neil Gaiman with The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Categories: Books

Ineffable is a word that Neil Gaiman knows well. Avid fans will remember that in Good Omens, the master storyteller's collaboration with Terry Pratchett, the term was used to the point of hilarious excess. Twenty-three years after the publication of that novel -- Gaiman's first -- he's made a living out of creating transcendental universes for new fans and seasoned Gaiman-lovers alike. His newest world might be the most ineffable yet.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a homecoming of sorts for the writer, both in the book and Gaiman's own life. This latest venture marks his return to adult novels after penning the woefully underrated Anansi Boys in 2005.

See also:
Neil Gaiman's last book tour comes to Minnesota this summer
Enter Sandman: Why Neil Gaiman is about to become bigger than death

More »

Dan Savage talks Bachmann, parenting, and American Savage

Categories: Books
After 20-plus years as a sex advice columnist, author, and LGBT activist, you would think Dan Savage would have earned the right to relax a little. He hasn't.

"The asshole tech people make it impossible to just take the time to be a writer anymore," says Savage during a call with City Pages this past week. "It's hard to find the time to write when you've got a column and a podcast, then people want you to be active on Twitter, and now there's Instagram, and apparently I have to be on fucking Vine now. It's crazy."

Despite the increasingly busy schedule, Savage found the time to release his new book, American Savage, earlier this month. A collection of essays combining his completely unfiltered outlook on relationships, religion, politics, and, of course, sex, the book is Savage's first solo effort since 2005's The Commitment.

To celebrate the release, Savage will be stopping in the Twin Cities for a very special discussion at Macalester College in St. Paul Tuesday night where he'll share his always insightful and entertaining thoughts on pretty much anything you can think of.

More »

Top 5 books for reading near the water

Categories: Books
Flikr Creative Commons
At last, summer is starting to creep its warm-temperature tendrils around us, thawing our cold Minnesotan winter hearts. This weekend, if the weather cooperates, many of us will be taking a trip to the lake, biking along the river, or maybe even sitting poolside.

Let's get you in the mindset of waves, shall we? Here are five books that are set nearby or written on the topic of water to pack in your beach bag.

Related stories:
Top 7 bookstores in the Twin Cities

More »

Temple Grandin on how we should treat autism and her new book, The Autistic Brain

Categories: Books
photo of Temple Grandin by Rosalie Winard, scan of her brain by Dr. Marlene Behrmann, Brain Imaging Research Center, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh
Temple Grandin's new book, The Autistic Brain, uses scientific breakthroughs like brain scans to better understand autism.
Temple Grandin has penned best-selling books that, together, have sold over a million copies. A professor of animal science, she has worked with big agriculture to design humane slaughterhouses. For some idea of the scale of her accomplishments: HBO made a movie of her life (starring Claire Danes) that won seven Emmy awards.

Grandin is famous, though, for doing it all with autism. When she was born, in 1947, autism was still a new diagnosis. Today, one in 88 children is "on the spectrum." In the years between, Grandin has become an advocate for autism and an icon for those seeking to better understand it.

Her new book, The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum (with Richard Panek), continues that work. In it, Grandin looks at the latest science to explore new ways to treat autism, and discusses the unique strengths that those with autistic brains can offer. In advance of her talk on Thursday night at the Fitzgerald Theater, Grandin spoke with Dressing Room about the future of the autism diagnosis, and why Minnesota should require coverage for early intervention therapy.

See Also:
- Temple Grandin, animal welfare activist, to speak at Kickapoo Country Fair
- COVER: Intensive Early Intervention Behavioral Therapy could cure autism, but HealthPartners and other insurance companies won't pay for it
- Debate over autism coverage continues as mom sues providers for discrimination
- Why does Minnesota have the nation's highest autism rate?

More »

Eve Ensler on fighting cancer and writing her new memoir, In the Body of the World

Categories: Activism, Books
photo by Brigitte Lacombe
Activist and author Eve Ensler will be in town on Wednesday, May 8.
"How to describe Rochester, Minnesota?" Eve Ensler asks in one chapter of her new memoir, In the Body of the World. "It is essentially cancer town."

Cancer is what brought Ensler, founder of V-Day and One Billion Rising and author of The Vagina Monologues, to Rochester. Hers struck in an ironic place for an internationally renowned feminist activist: her uterus.

Ensler says that prior to her diagnosis her body was a nuisance, something that required upkeep so that she could do her work. But as she fought cancer and infection, endured nine-hour surgery, lost weight, and shaved her head, Ensler reconnected with the physical. "By the end of chemo," she writes in In the Body of the World, "I felt like the darkness I had carried around most of my life had lifted."

Ensler will speak about her book and her work at Macalester College on Wednesday in an event co-sponsored by Common Good Books and the Minnesota Women's Press. We talked with Ensler the day that In the Body of the World hit shelves.

More »

Now Trending

From the Vault